How life very almost imitated art for Leo Woodall: Just like his character ... trends now

How life very almost imitated art for Leo Woodall: Just like his character ... trends now
How life very almost imitated art for Leo Woodall: Just like his character ... trends now

How life very almost imitated art for Leo Woodall: Just like his character ... trends now

Just a few years ago Leo Woodall revealed he spent his time drinking, smoking cannabis and working in a London bar.

The 27-year-old admits he was 'spoilt', 'fairly posh' and had no real plans for the future - much like his One Day character Dexter Mayhew.

Like the part he plays in the latest Netflix mega-hit, Leo is good looking, effortlessly charming and apparently cruising through life on a path to fame and fortune. But unlike Dexter, who attends the University of Edinburgh in David Nicholls' best-selling novel, Leo's academic problems took him on his own path.

Leo has said that he failed at a 's**t school' because he 'didn't give a f**k' about his grades and had become disillusioned and anxious after someone he thought was his friend threatened to stab him at a house party.

And despite Leo being from a 'fairly posh middle-class' family of thespians, his father Andrew, the star of a string of TV hits, had tried to warn him off following in his footsteps by telling him: 'Whatever you do, don't be a f***ing actor'.

Leo even admitted he had wanted to be a sportsman until he watched Cillian Murphy play Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders and wanted to act. With limited academic options, what else was he to do?

And after ignoring his father's advice, today Hammersmith-born Leo is being billed as the next Brad Pitt and his relationship with White Lotus actress Meghann Fahy could help them become the next Hollywood power couple. 

Leo Woodall at Andrew Lloyd Webber's drama school in Chiswick, which he signed up for after he found himself working in a bar after struggling at school

Leo Woodall at Andrew Lloyd Webber's drama school in Chiswick, which he signed up for after he found himself working in a bar after struggling at school

Leo Woodall with his brother Gabriel, sister Connie and father Andrew, a star of stage and screen who had said: 'Whatever you do, don't be a f***ing actor'.

Leo Woodall with his brother Gabriel, sister Connie and father Andrew, a star of stage and screen who had said: 'Whatever you do, don't be a f***ing actor'.

A young Leo (left) had never acted until his early 20s. other than pretending to be in the Matrix and Lord of the Rings.

His Netflix series 'One Day', also starring Ambika Mod, has been a huge hit

A young Leo (left) had never acted until his early 20s. other than pretending to be in the Matrix and Lord of the Rings. His Netflix series 'One Day', also starring Ambika Mod, has been a huge hit

Ms Mod and Woodall have formed a 'close bond' and friendship since making the hit series

Ms Mod and Woodall have formed a 'close bond' and friendship since making the hit series

His breakthrough role was a Cockney wide boy in series 2 of White Lotus. West London-born Leo modelled his accent on Joey Essex

His breakthrough role was a Cockney wide boy in series 2 of White Lotus. West London-born Leo modelled his accent on Joey Essex

Leo is in a relationship with actress Meghann Fahy, 33, who was his co-star in HBO drama The White Lotus. The pair met on set while filming the second season of the hit series in Sicily, Italy (seen  together with some of the cast at the HBO & Max Post Emmys Reception on Jan 15 2024)

Leo is in a relationship with actress Meghann Fahy, 33, who was his co-star in HBO drama The White Lotus. The pair met on set while filming the second season of the hit series in Sicily, Italy (seen  together with some of the cast at the HBO & Max Post Emmys Reception on Jan 15 2024) 

His decision to enrol in the Andrew Lloyd Webber-backed Arts Ed drama school in Chiswick changed his life. The degree in acting came despite warnings to try a different career by his family.

However, until then the closest he had got to treading the boards was pretending to being in Trinity in The Matrix or Aragorn from Lord of the Rings while playing with his older siblings Gabriel and Connie. 

As he entered his twenties, he admits to having been directionless and spent his time smoking weed and working in a bar.

He told The Guardian recently that his confidence had gone after someone pulled a knife on him and demanded the gloves he was wearing.

What followed was severe anxiety and he rarely left the house other than go to school, which he described as a violent place.

It was then he started to act, he said.

'I started shaving my eyebrows. I shaved my head. I wore a hood all the time, changed the way I talked. It was a kind of survival instinct, I think. To fit in. But I wasn’t nice. I lashed out. My mum was worried'.

He left school having failed academically, and fell into a pattern where he had a bar job, hung out with friends and smoked cannabis. 

He said: 'I was thinking, "What am I going to do? I wasn't too worried about it. I wasn't stressed. But I thought: "Perhaps, now I'm creeping into my 20s, I should think about it",'

His options were limited: 'I didn't really give a f**k about my grades, so it wasn't like I could just go to university to study economics', he said.

Leo and his brother Gabriel with their mother Jane, who also went to drama school where she met his father

Leo and his brother Gabriel with their mother Jane, who also went to drama school where she met his father

Woodall (pictured with his girlfriend) has also gelled back his long hair at a number of red carpet appearances, just as 60-year-old Pitt used to do

Woodall has also gelled back his long hair at a number of red carpet appearances, just as 60-year-old Pitt (pictured) used to do

Woodall has gelled back his long hair at a number of red carpet appearances, just as 60-year-old Pitt used to do

His mother, Jane Morton did not pursue a career in acting after graduating. After she split with Leo's father Andrew she went on to marry another actor.

Leo's step-father is Alexander Morton, 78, is best known for playing gamekeeper Golly Mackenzie in the BBC series Monarch of the Glen. Mr Morton also starred in Luther and Casualty, along with the film Get Carter.

But he was drawn to the family business, although he believes it comes with huge pressure to perform.

He told The Guardian: 'I was so nervous about what my family would think of

read more from dailymail.....

PREV The three unanswered questions Angela Rayner faces over her tax affairs as ... trends now
NEXT Doctors first 'dismissed' this young girl's cancer symptom before her parents ... trends now